I still remember the first time I heard her voice, crying so loudly. Confused.
I still remember the first time I held her. So small. So real.
I still remember the first time she walked, talked, held my hand, sang a song.
So many firsts. None to be taken for granted.
She is becoming her own person now. Kind. Dependable. Courageous. Unique.
She has brought me light. Strength of purpose. Hope.
She has reminded me that parenting is a gift not all accept.
She has made me a better person. Happier. Adventurous. Creative.
When she appears, the pain is worth it.
Her jubilation makes the stares and eye rolls worth it.
Her hug makes the isolation worth it.
She belongs. I belong. We belong.
And the looks of disgust, the why are you heres, the I'm willing to not accept your presence for the foreseeable futures begin to mean nothing.
My daughter is better than that. We are better than that.
She will find her own path in this world. I am sure. When she does, I hope she will remember this. She is loved. She is heard. She is appreciated. She is my daughter.